The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is continuing to conduct spot checks and inspections across Great Britain after the majority of Covid-19 restrictions were removed on the 19 July, 2021. This is to ensure that businesses are operating safely and in accordance with government guidance, while continuing to adapt their working environments to manage the risk posed by Covid-19.
What does the HSE spot check programme include?
Covid spot checks and inspections provide expert advice during the calls and visits to help and guide businesses on how to manage risk whilst protecting their employees, customers and anyone that visits their premises.
They will also check what has been put in place to make sure you are in line with government guidance, including an up to date risk assessment, adequate ventilation, sufficient cleaning and good hygiene.
Why do I need an up to date risk assessment?
If your business has more than five employees you will need a written risk assessment that is updated regularly. With the ever changing landscape of Covid-19, it’s more important than ever to regularly review and keep on top of changes which affect your business and workforce.
How to maintain adequate ventilation, cleaning and good hygiene
- Ventilation: Employer’s must make sure that there is an adequate supply of fresh air in enclosed areas of the workspace. This can normally be achieved in two ways; natural ventilation through open doors or windows and mechanical ventilation, through fans and ducts.
- Cleaning: Your risk assessment will determine how thoroughly and frequently you will need to clean your workplace, but in many cases it will have now increased due to Covid-19.
- Hygiene: As a minimum you will have hand washing facilities with running water, soap and a hand dryer or paper towels and hand sanitiser available where you are unable to wash your hands. Signage as a reminder on handwashing techniques is also recommended.
How will I know if HSE want to do a covid spot check or inspection?
You will receive a call or a physical visit from a HSE inspector, or one of their approved partners who assist HSE to deliver the covid spot checks and inspections to ensure they reach as many workplaces as possible.
Officers will always carry identification and a letter of authorisation from HSE and you can call 0300 790 6896 to verify any visit.
HSE comment that; “It’s important to note that if you receive a call or visit from HSE, you should participate in the spot check as failure to follow current health and safety guidance could lead to enforcement action.”